You guys excited about some new cartoons?! This summer was very nearly the weakest season since I started this blog, so I know I’m sure ready. This fall is looking to be the Season of the Sequel – I’ve already got four sequels I’ll be checking out, along with Sword Art Online continuing on its merry way. The list of originals is looking a bit more sparse, but I’m often surprised by what ends up grabbing me anyway, so I’m not too worried about that. As always, all upcoming shows can be seen at anichart.net. And as usual, I’m only going to be covering the shows I’m actually checking out – if your favorite’s not here, feel free to make a case for it in the comments! Let’s start with my top pick and run it down…
I’m not sure this is the show I’m most looking forward to this season, but I do think it’s very easily the show with the most immediate potential. The source material for this one is excellent – I actually own most of the manga, and can already confirm it’s a strong thriller that makes great use of the story’s premise. Its horror leanings might actually be elevated by animation, and Madhouse have a tremendous reputation, even if their recent productions have been hit or miss. Plus, this also marks the return of Aya Hirano to main-character roles, as she plays the… sentient parasite controlling a high-school boy’s right hand. Who can really afford to miss that?
Here’s the first PV, which shows off some lovely animation.
Not much to say about this one – it’s season two of season two of Mushishi. Though I haven’t been quite as fond of the second season as the original, that could very well come down to Mushishi overdose – I went directly from the first season into the second, and at this point am certainly ready for more. Mushishi’s a gem, every new season enriches our medium.
My expectations are actually fairly muted for this one – I liked Psycho-Pass well enough, but police procedurals aren’t really my thing in the abstract, and it doesn’t seem like Urobuchi is even involved in this season. It was really the ideas he implanted in the story that made it compelling for me. The replacement writer is Tow Ubakata, whose work on Ghost in the Shell: Arise would seem to indicate he knows something about cyberpunk crime shows, but we’ll have to see what kind of show this sequel turns out to be.
What can I say? Chaika is Chaika – the little adventure that could, a show that continues to jump over the moderate goals it sets for itself while remaining entertaining and endearing all along the way. It bolsters its fairly D&D-esque narrative with well-composed action scenes and a fine sense of humor, and its story reflects on post-war attitudes in a variety of engaging ways. But really, Chaika is primarily just a fun ride with a group of likable people – it’s a warm show that’s always nice to kick back to. I’m happy to see it return.
This one’s pretty much my only wholly speculative pick, but the synopsis is just so compelling that I have to give it a chance. I’m a big fan of the Nodame Cantabile manga, and this story seems quite similar – I’m a sucker for stories about both music and romance, and if you combine them, I probably won’t be able to stay away. The series composer for this one has an incredibly terrible resume, but, I mean, it’s gotta be on noitaminA for some reason, right? Plus, that PV is classy as hell. Here’s hoping I get rewarded for my speculation.
Man, that is one hideous key visual. Anyway, I generally enjoyed but was never truly wowed by Log Horizon’s first season, and I’m perfectly happy to feel the same way about its sequel. The show has ideas, but its amorphous structure and mediocre execution tended to keep them from becoming more than the sum of their parts – I don’t really expect the sequel to change that, but it doesn’t have to. Log Horizon is competent, it’ll be nice to see it again.
Now there’s a key visual! I don’t really have the highest hopes for this one, either – frankly, I feel like I enjoyed Fate/Zero largely in spite of the convoluted, random-ass Fate universe nonsense, and diving into the non-Urobuchi original seems like a questionable proposition. But it is an incredibly beloved property, and it will almost certainly look pretty, so I’m hoping this will be enjoyable as entertainment even if its worldbuilding sometimes puts me to sleep. I haven’t watched the original FSN, and I only made it a few hours into the visual novel, so I’m just gonna hope this new show allows new fans to figure stuff out as they go along. I mean, this is intended to reach new audiences, right? …right?
My passion for Kyoto Animation died on the harsh, unforgiving rocks of Chuunibyou Ren. At this point, I have no expectations for their work – they haven’t made something I’ve seriously enjoyed in about two years, and those have been a busy two years. But this show gives me a reason to be curious, at least – well, two reasons. First, this is the first show since Hyouka that’s actually an adaptation of something from outside of KyoAni – in this case, another work by the creator of Full Metal Panic. And secondly, this is also the first show since Hyouka to be directed by Yasuhiro Takemoto, who I consider the clear best director at their studio. The last two works he directed were Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and Hyouka, the works I’d call KyoAni’s easy peak as a studio, and his presence gives me hope that Amagi Brilliant Park could end up more interesting than its very bland and anime-standard premise would otherwise indicate. KyoAni has a ton of talent, so I’m going to keep giving them chances, but I’d really, really like for this one to be worth betting on.
There’s very little chance I’ll end up watching more than an episode or two of this – my only real incentive here is “adaptation curiosity.” I’ve actually played through a great deal of Grisaia, and can personally vouch for it being largely terrible (this review pretty much covers my thoughts on it), but since I’ve never played a visual novel prior to its adaptation before, I’m interested in seeing the process close up, and how my perception of the text interacts with how the series composer handles it. So yeah, I’m pretty much solely watching this for pretentious, writerly reasons. Should be a good time!
And that’s my list so far. Anything I’m missing? I know the big absence is Terra Formars, but I’m just not that interested in watching the blooddark grimkill action show this time – that said, there’s a decent chance twitter buzz will lead to me catching the first episode anyway. So what are you guys looking forward to?